PETERBOROUGH, Ont.—Former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro has been sentenced to one month in jail after he was convicted of violating the Canada Elections Act during the 2008 federal election.
The Peterborough, Ont., judge found that he had exceeded spending limits, failed to report a personal contribution of $21,000 to his campaign, and knowingly submitted a falsified document.
Justice Lisa Cameron said he had lied and cheated and his conduct had been an affront to democracy.
Del Mastro was also sentenced to 18 months probation.
The one-month sentences for two of the offences are concurrent while a four-month sentence for the third offence is conditional.
His lawyer has said he would ask for bail pending the outcome of an appeal if given a jail term.
The former MP had faced up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine for each of the three offences.
“This type of cheating and lying will result in serious sanctions,” Cameron said. “Custody is required to reflect the need for denunciation and deterrence.”
Del Mastro, 44, was once Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s point man defending the Tories against allegations of electoral fraud. He maintained his innocence and called the verdict the judge’s opinion.
At a pre-sentencing hearing in April, he choked back tears as he described the “nationwide condemnation” he had to endure as a result of the charges.
“There are some who would appreciate an opportunity to hold a public stoning in the town square,” he told Cameron. “It’s my hope that the significant consequences that I have endured and shared will be considered in your deliberations.”
The prosecution called for up to 12 months in jail, while the defence asked Cameron for a conditional discharge or, at most, a fine.
Del Mastro resigned his Peterborough seat in the House of Commons _ where he had been sitting as an Independent since being charged _ shortly after his conviction.
His lawyer, Leo Adler, argued his client’s resignation was “for the good of the community.”
“Mr. Del Mastro, by resigning, effectively fined himself,” Adler said in April. “That’s the real penalty Mr. Del Mastro incurred.”
The Crown, however, argued Del Mastro had refused to accept his convictions and shown no remorse for what it called a intentional and extensive efforts to “conceal the deception.”